Macadamia Nut Cream Cake – fluffy vanilla bean cake layers with toasted macadamia nut cream filling, toasted macadamia nuts and vanilla bean buttercream.
Summer is already flying by thanks to our back-to-back family vacations. We didn’t intend to do them so close together, but both Ryan’s family and my family schedules could only line up at this time. So, we were able to go to Oahu with my mom and my siblings for a week, come home for a week, and then jetted off to join Ryan’s family in Oceanside for a week. We’ve had an absolute blast, but I gotta say, it feels SO good to be home!
After our trip to Oahu, I spent the one week at home baking away in my kitchen. If you were following along on Instagram, you know I was obsessed with the Macadamia Nut Malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu and used my new-found obsession to inspire this cake. The macadamia cream filled donut from Leonard’s is honestly one of the tastiest treats I’ve ever sunk my teeth into. If you’re headed to the island, getting malasadas from Leonard’s is a must!
As I thought about a cake inspired by the malasadas, I really wanted it to be about the macadamia nut cream. So, my goal for this cake was to make the macadamia nut cream shine and be the star of the show.
Macadamia Nut Milk
Getting the macadamia nut flavor in the cream was my first challenge. The cream in the malasadas was thick and creamy, but only had a slight hint of macadamia nut. I wanted my cream to scream macadamia nut!
I love the cream filling I made in my Verden’s Beste Cake a while back, and knew it would be the perfect starting point for the macadamia nut cream. In the original recipe, I call for two cups of milk. So, naturally, I thought I could replace the regular milk with store-bought macadamia nut milk. Turns out, macadamia nut milk is kind of hard to find and isn’t very flavorful. It reminds me a lot of almond milk. Kind of thin and bland.
After sampling the macadamia nut milk and deciding the flavor wasn’t strong enough, I decided to make my own milk – with toasted macadamia nuts. Toasting the nuts helps bring out the flavor and creates an even nuttier profile.
Don’t be afraid to make your own nut milk. It’s honestly so easy! You’ll simply toast your macadamia nuts with some salt, soak them in macadamia nut milk or other milk (almond, cashew, or even regular milk), puree it all and then strain to get the milk out of the puree. The full instructions are below, but plan to make this part of the recipe and the custard ahead of time.
Macadamia Nut Cream
After you’ve made your macadamia nut milk, you’re ready to make your custard. The custard is a simple recipe of egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and your nut milk. They key to making the custard thick and creamy is to slowly add the milk to the egg yolk mixture and then letting the entire mixture thicken for a while over the stove.
Again, this is something you’ll want to make ahead of time so the custard has time to set and cool in the refrigerator. Plan on making it at least a day before you put together the cake.
Also note that you’ll wait to add the whipped cream to the custard until you’re ready to assemble. I mixed mine together too early and it ended up being thinner than I intended. If you look at the Verden’s Beste Cake, you’ll see it can actually get pretty thick, but it’s certainly not ruined if it’s on the thinner side like mine. Either way, the flavor is going to knock your socks off!
Macadamia Nut Cream Cake
With the macadamia nut cream ready to go, I decided on a light and fluffy vanilla bean cake and frosting to pair with it, along with toasted macadamia nuts for some texture. For the cake and frosting, you’ll use a vanilla bean paste, which you can often find at Orson Gygi, Walmart or even craft stores like Michaels.
I absolutely love this cake and frosting with the cream filling. They’re both light and flavorful, and really let the cream shine. I think you’re going to love this cake!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CAKE LAYERS
Don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting your cakes to rise and bake well:
- Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
- Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
- Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
- Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
- Use room temperature wet ingredients.
- Use fresh baking powder.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
NOTE: These cake layers rise to about 1 – 1.25″ high. If you want thicker cake layers, I suggest adding an extra half batch to the recipe.
CAN I MAKE THIS CAKE IN ADVANCE?
All of my cakes, fillings, and buttercreams can be made in advance. I love spreading out the baking process so I never feel rushed or stressed to get it done all in one day. Check out these blog posts for scheduling your baking and storing your cakes.
HOW TO MAKE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
This buttercream is so silky-smooth, you’re going to love it! Make sure to follow my tips for making the best buttercream over at: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM
- Sift your powdered sugar
- Use slightly cold butter
- Use heavy whipping cream
- Beat for 5 minutes
- Stir by hand
You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step.